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Blake, Victoria

Blake, Victoria

PERSONAL: Born in Oxford, England. Education: Attended Oxford University.

ADDRESSES: Home—West London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Orion Publishing Group, Orion House, 5 Upper Saint Martin's La., London WC2H 9EA, England.

CAREER: Writer. Duckworth Publishers, London, England, solicitor. Also worked as a bookseller.

WRITINGS:

"SAM FALCONER" NOVELS

Bloodless Shadow, Orion Publishing Group (London, England), 2003, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Cutting Blades, Orion Publishing Group (London, England), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: In an interview with Ayo Onatade for Shots online, author Victoria Blake revealed that prior to publishing her first crime novel, Bloodless Shadow, she had unsuccessfully tried to publish two other books. Deciding to give writing one final try, Blake ventured into the crime genre. She commented that while she had read "tons of crime" throughout her life, she had been "frightened by the plotting aspects" of writing a crime novel. Nevertheless, Blake finished—and published—Bloodless Shadow, her first book in a series about private investigator Samantha Falconer.

In Bloodless Shadow, Blake introduces Samantha "Sam" Falconer, a four-time world judo champion turned private investigator. After agreeing to investigate the disappearance of a prominent psychiatrist's missing wife, Sam must return to Oxford, England, a city she associates with painful memories she had hoped to leave behind.

Blake's debut novel was met with mixed reviews. A contributor to Publishers Weekly stated that Bloodless Shadow is "engaging" and remarked upon "the smoothly interwoven plot lines and the authentic settings." A critic for Kirkus Reviews felt that the "by-the-numbers plotting" does little to grab readers' attention. On the other hand, Shots contributor Onatade noted that "Sam's private life is quite fascinating…. It will be interesting to see how this series develops and how Ms. Falconer handles herself in the future."

In Blake's second 'Sam Falconer' novel, Cutting Blades, the detective is once again investigating a missing person, this time a talented rower from Oxford University. Cutting Blades, like Bloodless Shadow, reveals more secrets from Sam's past as she attempts to solve a string of intertwined mysteries. A reviewer for the CrimeSquad Web site observed that while the plot in Cutting Blades is interesting, "it is the marvelous canvas of different characters that always hold your attention." The reviewer concluded that it is the "fascinating" characters that "urge you to turn the pages."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2005, review of Bloodless Shadow, p. 664.

Library Journal, July 1, 2005, Rex E. Klett, review of Bloodless Shadow, p. 56.

Publishers Weekly, June 6, 2005, review of Bloodless Shadow, p. 43.

ONLINE

CrimeSquad, http://www.crimesquad.com/ (October 10, 2005), review of Cutting Blades.

Orion Publishing Group Web site, http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/ (October 10, 2005).

Shots Online, http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/ (October 10, 2005), Ayo Onatade, review of Bloodless Shadow and interview with Victoria Blake.

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